Netflix streaming on Nintendo Wii

January 19th, 2010 - Posted by Mihaela in Video broadcasting news

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Soon you won’t even need a DVD player to play your movies as the guys from Nintendo are negociating with Netflix for adding a streaming service from the Wii. In 2008 Microsoft were the first company to offer Netflix services on a console then Sony (on their PS3 platform) in 2009 and now Nintendo follows the trend.

PS3 can connect to Sony’s online movie store through a Blu-ray disc player and Xbox 360 has access to the Zune HD movie library (viewers can even chat while attending a movie). That is why Wii needed this “upgrade” having the advantage of being the most popular console at the moment in the US.

For setting up the functionally there are a few things you need to be aware of:

1. You will need a Netflix subscription so you can have access to the video content

2. Then you will need an Instant Streaming Disc (basicly this will be a one time fee for the subscribers of about $9). A special webpage will be available and users may order the cards online. This needs to be inserted into the Wii console before accessing movies or TV episodes.

Here is an example of how the instant Netflix PS3 disc looks like:

3. The Wii console needs to be connected to the internet (a Broadband Internet connection is suggested).

This is a very intelligent move from both sides as Netflix has a huge number of subscribers (about 11 milions) and Wii has about 26 million sold consoles. The expansion will sure bring benefits to both companies as streaming video is one of the best communcation channels.

Wii is from far the most popular video console in the US and this may be a big advantage for Netflix trying to expand the subscribers list. Users will navigate through the Netflix database using the Wii remote.

This partnership may also be a good countermove to what Microsoft offers with their Xbox console. And this is because Xbox has the service available for „Gold members” only who pay a yearly fee to play games on the Internet.

The colaboration would have been already on the move if the Wii would have been HD compatible. By the time first discussions were happening the console was able to display only SD that is why the service release was postponed until Wii will release a new HD version of the console.

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